One step to take before you go public with scandal

December 13, 2011 — Leave a comment

How do you explain that you are pregnant, still a virgin, and the father is the Holy Ghost?

Matthew 1:18-20 – Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. 19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. 20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.

Scandalous. Worst excuse of all time. Impossible.

These thoughts and others must have entered Joseph’s mind when Mary tried to explain her pregnancy. Joseph surely felt betrayed and cheated on. His espoused bride was pregnant. This ended all his plans for their future happiness and hurt his reputation.

Do you have the whole story?

Joseph decided not to go public with this story.

Good thing he didn’t broadcast it to his social circles. Joseph didn’t know the whole story.

He kept it quiet and fell asleep. In his dreams, Gabriel appeared and explained the fullness of the story to Joseph.

Equipped with the whole story, everything made perfect sense. His girl hadn’t cheated on him. She had been chosen to bring God to the world. Joseph would father this child into manhood.

Can you imagine if he had gone public with his piece of the story?

His relationship with Mary would have been compromised.

The gospel would also have been hurt. Instead of the carpenter’s son, Jesus would be called the son of that fornicator.

Mary was 4 months pregnant when Joseph found out about it. Jesus was coming through her no matter what. This process wouldn’t have been stopped if Joseph had harmed her reputation by going public.

Just be just

Joseph was a just man.

It’s unjust to go public about somebody’s seeming sin.

Generally the gossip begins with a minute piece of the whole story. Never mind getting full disclosure. It’s juicier to post in 140 characters or less the fall of somebody known or unknown. Why try to get a little context?

Even if this person has sinned, you still shouldn’t go public.

This will destroy whatever relationship you two might have had.

It hurts the gospel.

When God does restore them through repentance, it will take much longer for the people to accept them back because they now have a tainted view of this individual because of the public posting and blogging.

This is especially harmful if this individual is innocent.

The plans that God had for them are tainted by the words of man.

You are sinning by tale bearing.

Joseph was minded, and he thought on the matter. Wisdom says to think before you speak.

This step may save somebody from a public flogging. Recovering from those wounds may take a lifetime.

Think about it

1. Don’t draw conclusions over a piece of the story. If you haven’t heard both sides of the story, or talked with the alleged sinner personally: please don’t just assume somebody is guilty.

2. Always err on the side of mercy.

3. What scriptures do you have to back up your character assassination?

4. How would you want others to handle yourself, your wife, or your children?

5. How would your sharing of somebody’s misfortune affect the gospel?

6. How will this impact their future?

7. Should I take this to the Master or the Pastor?